, – Have you ever realized that sometimes those who suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure often also have diabetes? Some studies suggest that the two are indeed related. But in general, hypertension and type 2 diabetes are aspects of the metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Both hypertension and diabetes may have several causes in common, and both have several risk factors. They also contribute to worsening of each other’s symptoms. The ways of managing the two conditions also overlap. Several relatively simple tests can show whether a person has diabetes or hypertension. You can buy a blood glucose test kit for diabetes and a blood pressure monitor to find out blood pressure at home.
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Relationship between Diabetes and Hypertension
Diabetes and hypertension often occur together and may have several causes in common. This includes:
- Oxidative stress.
- Insulin resistance.
Diabetes involves high blood sugar levels. A person with diabetes does not have enough insulin to process glucose or their insulin does not work effectively. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to process glucose from food and use it for energy.
Due to insulin problems, glucose cannot enter the cells to provide energy, and instead accumulates in the bloodstream. When blood with high glucose levels flows throughout the body, it can cause widespread damage, including to blood vessels and kidneys. These organs play an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. If they are damaged, blood pressure can increase, increasing the risk of further damage and complications.
A meta-analysis that appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) in 2015 looked at data on more than 4 million adults. It was concluded that people with high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This association may be due to processes in the body that affect both conditions, such as inflammation.
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Risk Factors for Hypertension and Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association , the combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes is deadly and can significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Having type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure also increases your chances of developing other diabetes-related diseases, such as kidney disease and retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.
There is also significant evidence to suggest that chronic high blood pressure can accelerate the emergence of problems with thinking abilities associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. According to the AHA, blood vessels in the brain are particularly vulnerable to damage from high blood pressure. This makes it a major risk factor for stroke and dementia.
Uncontrolled diabetes is not the only health factor that increases the risk of high blood pressure. Remember, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke increase exponentially if you have more than one risk factor, such as:
- Family history of heart disease.
- Diet high in fat, high in sodium.
- Inactive lifestyle.
- High cholesterol.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Chronic diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea .
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Overcoming Diabetes and Hypertension
While some people can overcome type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes, most need treatment. Depending on their overall health, some people may need more than one medication to help manage their blood pressure.
Some medications have side effects, so watch how you are doing well. You can also ask your doctor’s advice about taking drugs in diabetes and hypertension that you can use.